The Magicians Season 1 Episode 8 Review: The Strangled Heart

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The Magicians Season 1 Episode 8 is the episode I've been waiting for since the premiere. We were promised adult fantasy, and after a lot of meandering subplots and superficial character development, the show finally delivers.

The Beast finally makes a reappearance through Mike and proves to be as dangerous a villain as ever. It's really fantastic how the writers managed to establish The Beast as a terrifying entity in just a few short scenes.

Too often, villains can be written as toothless foes, relying on long speeches and a few deaths here and there to scare the heroes.

A Connection to the Beast - The Magicians

But here, in every scene The Beast has appeared in so far, he wastes no time in leaving behind a bloody, gruesome mess in his wake. 

In this case, it was Eliza (and a rabbit) who met her bloody fate at the The Beast's hands. Her death was shocking, especially after the reveal that she was in fact Jane Chatwin from the Fillory books.

However, I was even more surprised that Eliza would do something so unbelievably stupid as to enter a cell with someone she knew was possessed by The Beast without bringing any kind of protection with her.

Especially since she seemed to have a history with The Beast and presumably knew how dangerous he was. I can't help but feel like she got what she deserved for such a foolish mistake.

My only regret is that Eliza seemed to have all the answers pertaining to Fillory and The Beast. I, like Quentin, was looking forward to hearing some explanations and am disappointed that I won't be learning about her backstory any time soon.

This does bring some much needed unpredictability to the show, however. The mystery of Fillory is what will keep viewers interested week after week.

I'm really appreciating Eliot's character growth and integration into the main plot. His character is so much more interesting when he's not being dragged down by the insufferable Margo.

His growing intimacy with Mike, while a little out of the blue, was effective in showing just how betrayed he would eventually feel by Mike's revealed villainy. 

Becoming me was the greatest creative project of my life.


Penny is also quickly improving as a character with each episode. While his tough guy act is an obvious stereotype and is frankly unearned, Penny's disdain for everyone and everything is refreshing amidst all of the juvenile angst going on.

I may not like Penny himself, but I love the vitriol he constantly spews at all the annoying characters (i.e. Quentin).

Hell is real, and it smells like Axe body spray.


That being said, I was disappointed that he believed in Kady's betrayal so easily. I would've thought that his feelings of love and the experience of entering her mind would give him some insight into her true character, and maybe he would give her the benefit of the doubt.

But, like most relationships on this show, it seems like Penny's "love" for Kady was simply superficial. Yes, he does clearly still care about her, given that his most prized possession was a candy wrapper she gave him.

But love isn't just affection -- it's also trust, and Penny doesn't trust Kady enough to be able to truly love her.

Speaking of love, Quentin and Alice continue to play out an extremely tiresome courtship amongst horny teenagers. They kiss, they pretend it was nothing. They have sex, they pretend it was nothing. Then they have sex again.

I think we need to send some time apart so we know what's real and what's fox.


Penny rightfully calls both of them out for their juvenile behavior, but I have little faith that we will see them mature any time soon. 

As for Julia, it's great to finally see her on a healthy path after all shady dealings with the hedge witches. Although Richard's spell was a little too mystical and on-the-nose for me, his belief that magic is simply a set of tools left over from creation is an interesting one.

I look forward to seeing what's in store for Julia in her new life.

What did you all think of this episode? Are you enjoying seeing more of Eliot? Is Jane Chatwin/Eliza truly dead? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Don't forget you can watch The Magicians online at anytime via TV Fanatic!

The Strangled Heart Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (20 Votes)
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The Magicians Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

I think we need to send some time apart so we know what's real and what's fox.


Hell is real, and it smells like Axe body spray.